If you have a Facebook Fan Page, you’ve invited all the folks who ‘like’ your page to a party – your party – online in your Facebook space. When they clicked ‘like,’ they accepted your invitation. And they’re depending on you, the host of the party, to show. If you don’t participate, your guests won’t have the opportunity to interact with you. They’ll probably lose interest or worse they’ll leave the party (your Facebook page) altogether.
Folks have come a long way in the last few years when it comes to recognizing the value online communication. They invest to have platforms created and customized for their purposes. But the ones that achieve the most online success make an additional investment after these platforms are launched: their time. They show up to their party.
People ‘like’ you on Facebook, or follow you on Twitter, or sign up for your email alerts because of who you are and the insight you provide. They want to converse with you. Take time to read the posts on your social network feeds and to contribute to the online conversation. Officials should resist the instinct to staff this out entirely, like they might with many other jobs. In every conversation, authenticity matters. Hearing directly from an official about their take on an issue or about their latest activity will always be of interest to their network.
Commit to host the party and to show up, mingle, and thank your guests. Do that, and your crowd will keep growing and growing. Even better, they will understand what you need from them to move your organization, cause, efforts forward.